Westmont man, Chicago man arrested after police recover 'extremely dangerous' gun, stolen vehicle

A Westmont man and a Chicago man have been arrested after police recovered a handgun converted into a fully automatic weapon and a stolen vehicle in the suburbs on Thursday.

Westmont police observed a blue 2016 Nissan Rogue reportedly stolen from Rockford parked on Oakley Drive South around 2:26 p.m., according to prosecutors. Inside the vehicle were 20-year-old Canutie Collins and 18-year-old Mathias Henyard.

The Nissan then drove to a parking lot on Oakley Drive North, where the men allegedly removed the rear license plate before leaving the lot.

According to prosecutors, Collins was seen returning to the Nissan shortly afterward when officers ordered him to stop and informed him he was under arrest. Collins allegedly attempted to flee but was apprehended after a brief struggle.

Officers then observed Henyard in the driver's seat of the Nissan. He allegedly drove toward the officers before exiting the vehicle and attempting to flee on foot. He was then arrested.

Prosecutors stated that Collins was wearing a backpack from which the barrel of a loaded Glock 19, 9mm firearm was protruding, with one round in the chamber and an extended magazine. The weapon had been modified to function as a fully automatic weapon, prosecutors said.

Canutie Collins and Mathias Henyard

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin remarked in a statement, "Public safety remains the top priority of my office and the allegation that Mr. Collins unlawfully possessed an extremely dangerous, fully-loaded gun capable of firing as a machine gun, is outrageous. To further aggravate the matter, it is further alleged that both these men were in possession of a vehicle stolen out of Rockford earlier the same day. Allegations such as those against these defendants will not be tolerated in DuPage County and will be fully prosecuted."

Westmont Police Chief James Gunther added, "Illegally modified firearms are a danger to society. Our officers will continue to vigorously investigate and arrest individuals who possess such weapons with the goal of keeping our community safe."

Collins, of Westmont, faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon - machine gun and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He was denied pre-trial release. Henyard, of Chicago, was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and was released from custody.

Both men are scheduled for their next court appearance on May 6.